I had said no. Nope.

No more animals. No more critters. No more pets. No puppy.

It had been a long year of saying goodbye to our furry friends. My heart simply couldn’t take anymore.

We first lost one dog to old age and illness – our sweet rescue and first fur baby. Then another dog found her forever home. Which made me very happy when she was placed with a loving human and canine brother, but I still missed her dearly. So I said no. No more. We were down to just one dog and that was perfect.

But then one beautiful morning a few months ago, that dog took a nap outside under a tree and simply did not wake up. His heart had peacefully stopped while watching my kids play in the the sunshine. Our faithful German Shepherd left us after more than a decade of devotion and love. And oh, my heart hurt.

And then you guys, the cat died. And so did the hamster. I can’t make this up. The rainbow bridge was probably starting to wonder what in the world was going on with the Linehan family this past year.

So when my children and husband asked for a puppy for Christmas I said no. I can’t do this again. No. Nope. No more pets. No more tears and broken hearts over beloved animals.

I felt like I had just said goodbye to the dogs (and cat) who saw me through deployments and raising babies and career changes and multiple moves around the country. They slept by my side each night. They were my walking partners in the morning and the cleanup crew for every kitchen spill. They greeted the kids after school and followed them everywhere. They were so protective of me and always made it quite clear to a door-to-door salespeople that there would be no soliciting. How could I ever start over again with another dog?

But we did. We did it again. We fell in love with another fur baby.

These soft little eyes and this little warm nose and the way she curls up to sleep in my lap convinced me to say yes. The way my kids light up when they play with her made me agree to start all over again.

But it was not an easy agreement.

Because a dog (or any pet) is a life-long commitment. You, the human, promise to care for, train, and love this creature. You are responsible for their well-being and when they are sick or struggling, you are still their human just as much as when they are healthy and happy. And she is a healthy and happy puppy – full of energy and life. She is so little and needs so much right now. But as we are potty training and teaching commands and learning to look where we step because she is always underfoot, I remind myself that she will grow a lot and become another protective, devoted, and loving furry member of our family. And she already shows great promise of being a great walking partner.

Here we are with this puppy girl who is the epitome of unconditional love. We named her Rosie. And like Rosie the Riveter, she is pretty and strong. She is mending my heart and bringing us joy. We are so enjoying being her human.

So I said yes, let’s do this again.

Golden Retriever puppy lies on the ground with her toy bone Golden Retriever puppy sits on car seat


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